How Scrap Metal Sculptures Are Made

Metal Sculpture

Scrap metal sculptures often look like anyone could do it but there is more knowledge, skills, creativity and hard work in them than most people are aware of. Yes, they are merely welded pieces of assembled scrap metals, however, all who know something about this type of sculpturing also know that only the most talented artists can transform old pieces of metal into an artwork and give them a whole new life and value.

As already mentioned earlier, scrap metal sculptures are made by welding the assembled pieces of metal together. However, this is actually the final stage of the process. It all starts with an idea just like when creating any other artwork. The final result has to be original, inspiring and visually pleasing otherwise it is not a scrap metal sculpture but a strange thing made from old pieces of metal. And when the artist finally gets an idea what he or she wants to create, he or she needs to find the perfect pieces of scrap metal which is not an easy task because everything must match perfectly. However, the process may begin the other way around as well because in most cases, finding an inspiration and coming up with a great idea is the toughest part of the artist’s job. For that reason artists often wonder around scrapyards picking up various pieces of metals hoping to find that inspiration. But this method requires perfectly matching pieces as well. Since it is nearly impossible to find everything needed in the perfect shapes and sizes, scrap metal sculpturing typically also involves lots of cutting and moulding.

Metal Sculpture

When all the pieces needed for the sculpture are finally assembled and cut/shaped to perfects shapes or/and sizes, they need to be cleaned. Many scrap metal sculptures look like they are assembled from pieces of metals directly from scrapyards but they usually are not find in such “good“ condition. An artist must remove dirt and grime, sometimes also rust. Slightly rusty pieces could left the way they are for artistic reasons, however, no one will buy a sculpture with mud and grime on it. Cleaning and before that cutting and moulding pieces of old, dirty or/and rusty metal can be a dangerous business because a cut can lead to a serious infection and even tetanus. But the success is not guaranteed just yet nor can the artist move to welding. Since there are many kinds of metals, the artist must make sure that the pieces of metals which will carry most of the sculpture’s weight can actually support it which can be a tricky thing with old pieces of metal. And then, there is the welding job which requires lots of skills and precautions because it can be dangerous without proper equipment and at least basis welding knowledge.

Once the sculpture cools down, the rough edges are smoothed by grinding. Scrap metal sculpture is now completed unless the artist decides to paint it or/and treat it with an anticorrosive coating if it is intended for outdoor use.